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Thread: Script for my Requiem

  1. #1
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    Script for my Requiem

    November 7, 1953
    New Orleans, Louisiana


    A humid rain weeped in from the Gulf of Mexico as the streets around me melded with fog and brownstone buildings mere feet away. I paused, removed my hat and wiped my brow as I reached for the hastily sketched map in my breast pocket. Rob Gayle, field manager of the New Orleans Blues, valued his privacy and finding his home for my interview proved surprisingly difficult.

    "Pardon me, sir," said a black man as he materialized out of the mist. He spoke with a sing-song Creole accent and wore a loose fitting black shirt and pants. His shirt was open to mid-belly, exposing more beads and medallions than I'd seen on one person in my life. One looked like a miniature skull with ruby eyes. "You have two bits to help a poor soul get a meal?"

    I don't like beggars. I resisted the urge to tell him to find a job and settled for, "No. Sorry."

    He seemed indifferent to my rejection, simply commenting on some law of three before going on his way.

    Moments later the sky darkened as the rain intensified. Somewhere a church bell tolled. Wonderful.

    Another fifteen minutes or so brought me to a large boarding house, pale blue in color with a second floor balcony looking over the street. On one end sat a man wearing a t-shirt and tan pants under an umbrella reading his paper while smoking a cigar. He ignored my curious stare as long as he reasonably could, then glared down. "Peacock!?"

    "Pennington. Ty Pennington. Mister Gayle?"

    Gayle grunted. "Get up here. Tell the mistress downstairs to bring the whiskey and two glasses. You do drink?"

    "Upon occasion. I'll be right there." The directions given, I climbed to the second floor and stood just inside the balcony's arch staring moodily at the rain.

    Gayle looked over his shoulder. "Come here, son. You're going to get rained on if you want to work for me." To prove the point he put out his cigar, wedged his paper by his side, and closed the umbrella on his chair. Sheepishly I walked out.

    Rob Gayle was in his sixties, a tall man with a beer belly but immensely strong arms. Gayle was arguably one of the best players in Kings' history, playing for them from 1913-26 before retiring in 1928. He'd accumulated an impressive (for the time) 79 homers, but battles with gout, infection and simple aging stole his speed. Some thought he should be in the Hall of Fame, but with a voting threshold of 80% he'd never made it in as a player. His luck didn't improve as a field manager - for eleven years he'd managed here in New Orleans without one pennant or cup to show for it.

    "Hasley sent me your introduction," he said, referring to the team's general manager. "What brings you to New Orleans? Charlotte not hot enough for you?"

    "Charleston, sir." Last year I managed the Charleston Mudrakers of the 'outlaw' Southern independent League. "And Mr. Hasley sought me out, sir. He thought..."

    "Stop that!" Gayle snapped.

    "Sir?"

    "That! You don't call me 'sir.' The players call me sir. My niece and nephew call me sir. You call me Mr. Gayle."

    "Yes, s...Mr. Gayle."

    He grunted approval. The rain slackened slightly, but my hat was already soaked and water dripped liberally from the brim in front of my face. The boarding house owner, a plump woman in her forties, appeared with a bottle and two glasses in the archway. I took them from her and poured silently. This also met with grunting approval.

    "Charleston then," he said. "What was your record?"

    "47-35," I replied. "Missed the championship by three games."

    Gayle snorted. "You might fit in after all. Alright. Where were we?"

    "Mr. Hasley. He thought he could use some assistance and that I might learn from you by sitting on the bench." Actually Hasley said pretty much the opposite, but he'd warned me about Gayle's pride. "I have experience with both the business and field end of managing and thought I might qualify."

    "I'll decide that," he growled. He stared at the rainy street for some moments. "Did the war wreck your rosters?"

    "It destroyed us. We had nowhere to recruit replacements from. Even with players returning from Korea we couldn't guarantee their old contracts. The League folded in September."

    "Which explains what you get out of this arrangement." Gayle nodded at the mist. "We play small ball here in New Orleans, Peacock. Our 'slugger' last year hit ten taters...our number one stole fifty-one bases. That's the kind of player Hasley likes and we get to adjust to it as best we can. If your job is to assist him, then I'd like you better if you can find me people who can consistently get on base and I'll..we'll...do the rest."

    "I doubt the Redbirds will give us Galton," I replied, referring to the all-time home run champion, "but I'll do what I can."

    "Good." Gayle looked up at me. The rain had stopped, but I didn't want to imagine what I looked like. I unconsciously took off my sopping hat and brushed my hair back, drink still in hand.

    "Did you ever play ball?"

    "College, sir...er...Mr. Gayle. Infield. My knee gave out senior year and no one would take me on."

    "So you teach your players batting and fielding?" Pale blue eyes searched mine. "Good. Our hitting coach is a booby. Not that our pitching coach is much better."

    Our? "Does that mean I have the job?"

    "Tell Hasley I'll take you on, at least for this year. Are you married?"

    "No, Mr. Gayle."

    "Good. God damn nuisance anyway. I want you to get a room here. The prices are reasonable and Mrs. Wilson - the house mistress - leaves her guests alone. I want you to know your job before Spring Training."

    My heart was thundering so hard I almost didn't hear his warning.

    "Oh, and Peacock: I don't mind questions, but if you ever try to tell me how to do my job they won't find you until you float up with the next floods."

    Code:
                           1953 Final Standings
                 
    National League                      American League
    Cleveland Broncos    93-61  --       Chicago Stars       103-51 --
    Chicago Whalers      83-71  10       Cincinnati Bulldogs  97-57  6
    Washington Federals  81-73  12       Philadelphia Eagles  79-75 24
    Brooklyn Bombers     77-77  16       Milwaukee Brewers    75-79 28
    Buffalo Bisons       76-78  18       New Orleans Blues    74-80 29
    Baltimore Canaries   75-79  19       New York Kings       64-90 39
    Kansas City Rustlers 71-83  23       St. Louis Redbirds   63-91 40
    New York Titans      60-94  34       Boston Pilgrims      61-93 42
     
                          Liberty Cup:  Chicago wins 4-1
    Code:
                   League Leaders
    Batting Avg.  Calvin Sabin (CIN)     .402
    Home Runs     Marv Galton (STL)        40
    RBI           Marv Galton (STL)       132
    Steals        Brian Casavant (CHW)     70
    
    Wins          Tony Crossman (CHS)      20
    ERA           James Glidden (WAS)    2.54
    Strikeouts    Mike Worthington (NYT)  106
    Saves         Maxwell Rome (MIL)       11
    Code:
                   League MVPs
    NL Pitcher    Aaron Hoddinot (CLE)     13-4 2.90 10 CG
    NL Batter     Ted McVinish (CLE)      .351 18-93 21 SB
    NL Rookie     Andy Piper (NYT)        .211 9-56 16 SB
    
    AL Pitcher    Tony Crossman (CHS)      20-7 2.78 16 CG
    AL Batter     Marv Galton (STL)       .360 40-132 7 SB
    AL Rookie     Dusty Tesser (CIN)      .332 11-84 21 SB
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  2. #2
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    In case you haven't guessed, this is a purely fictional league that developed quite differently from our own. After I have a chance to introduce some of the highlights and history, I'll publish a .mog before 1954 starts.

    Yes, I'm back...again. Unfortunately my recent dynasty history hurts my credibility, so all I can say to entice you to read is that this league took several days to create and advance from 1901 through today, and in imagining the grand sweep of events from then to now I've grown to care for this league. Second, this won't be like most other dynasties.... we'll certainly be playing a game and certainly trying (within house rules) to win, but the focus will be on a story I have loosely planned.

    (Go ahead, Coach: Get it out of your system. I'm sure I deserve it. :X)

    As you'll discover, the New Orleans Blues are one of the founding members of the American League. Unfortunately they have a problem: In fifty-three years, they are the only team in either league to have never taken a pennant. Though they had a pathetic run in the 1910s and 20s, the Blues' history is full of years they've been promising or even close...just not close enough. With the Korean War over and everyones' rosters returning to full strength, the pressure is on. It's now or never.
    Last edited by CatKnight; 09-07-2009 at 02:06 AM.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  3. #3
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Once I get out of class I'll go home and re-read it...but it looks good so far. I'm pretty sure it will make more sense to me once I actually read rather then scan, lol
    The Bay Area Bombers: Cross Town Rivals
    Click Here

    The Sacramento Spartan Series (Retired)
    Winner of the August 2009 New DOTM
    Part 1
    Part 2

    The Giants Family Dynasty (Retired)
    Click Here

  4. #4
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    He's baaaaaaaaack!

    Good to hear from you again, Cat. I was thinking of doing something very similar for my next project, so it'll be interesting to see where you go with this.

  5. #5
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Ok, I finally re-read it. I really like it! I'll be following for sure.
    The Bay Area Bombers: Cross Town Rivals
    Click Here

    The Sacramento Spartan Series (Retired)
    Winner of the August 2009 New DOTM
    Part 1
    Part 2

    The Giants Family Dynasty (Retired)
    Click Here

  6. #6
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Good to see you back with another dynasty Cat, sounds interesting, and I'll definately be reading.

  7. #7
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Yaay!

  8. #8
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    We have missed you, Mr. CatKnight, sir! (Don't call me sir.)

  9. #9
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    WB Cat, very nice start
    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonGM View Post
    I'm an idiot

    Quote Originally Posted by Kobie View Post
    lern 2 english

  10. #10
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Was having the Milwaukee Brewers an accident or was it still meant to be in there? I noticed that today when I looked over the teams again.
    The Bay Area Bombers: Cross Town Rivals
    Click Here

    The Sacramento Spartan Series (Retired)
    Winner of the August 2009 New DOTM
    Part 1
    Part 2

    The Giants Family Dynasty (Retired)
    Click Here

  11. #11
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    T980: I'm glad you like it so far! The Brewers are actually not an accident. I hope it'll make a little more sense when I get to their team history.

    PotatoofCouch: I'll be interested in seeing this project of yours!

    Overbay17: Thanks!

    SrMeowMeow:

    OldYankFan: Yes, si..uhm..boss.

    ragecage: Thank you very much.
    *******

    November 1953
    New Orleans, Louisiana



    "Mister Pennington, it's so good to see you again." Edward Hasley rose from his chair at the unoriginal, but highly descriptive Lakeside Tavern. One thing I was quickly learning about New Orleans is that you couldn't escape the water. Lake Pontchartrain winked at me from outside a panoramic glass view. Around us the white collar elite of New Orleans ate with business partners or wives who could have been mistaken for each other if not for the colors of their dresses. Apparently pearls, bright lipstick and updos - short, soft and curled hair exposing the neck - were in this year.

    Hasley was a fat, gasping man who insisted on wearing suits even in hundred degree weather... which perhaps explained why he preferred his summers sitting very still and doing as little work as possible. He might have done better in a northern city, or in a fall or winter sport, but ancient ties of loyalty bound him to the Blues much more tightly than his body's protests could withstand. He shook my hand - sweaty, but not weak - and sank gratefully into his chair. "Mister Pennington, I swear when I heard you sought out Mr. Gayle in the storm that my heart would fail. You must beware of the rain here, sir - unnatural tempests!" He regaled me with an urban legend about a man who meant to go to a store in a light drizzle, but never made it home as the drizzle was merely the foot messenger for a hurricane.

    I ate sparingly, still not used to the spices favored in this part of the deep south, picking at my salad with occasionally bites of fish. Not so Hasley, who assaulted his food with the reckless abandon of the Mongol Hordes. With the necessities of being a good host satisfied, he completely ignored me until his plate was as barren as the Sahara.

    "Now then, sir," Hasley said after a polite cough/urp into his napkin, "Let us get to it. As you know, your main role will be to assist Mr. Gayle with whatever he needs, and in exchange for this and financial considerations of course, I am to take you on as my...apprentice if you will."

    I smiled blandly, wondering what my new field manager would think of that last sentence. "You're very kind, sir."

    "It is a small price. Any man of integrity should be and must be willing to pass on his knowledge!" Hasley purred. "Allow me to give you a brief recap of our situation, and I will leave you with your assignment."

    The 'recap' began with what is common knowledge. The Blues have spent the past fifty years bouncing up and down the American League without one pennant to show for it. Their owner, Mister Jeffrey Himes of Himes Realty, funneled a great deal of his personal funds into the club in the last few years to bolster finances - despite that New Orleans couldn't seem to break second division play.

    "What puzzles me is this sudden chase for glory," Hasley mused. "Certainly it is nice to tote the cup and wear a ring, but Mr. Himes is usually a much more patient man - and yet here we have direct orders to engage in as much thrift as the budget will withstand...and that leads us to the first of your two assignments."

    "Sir?"

    Hasley patted a leather case that sat on the chair between us. "This is what my men - our men I dare say - could gather on several men who have yet to sign for 1954. I would like your recommendations on whether any of them are worth it."

    I glanced inside at the neatly typewritten pages. I've seen scouting scribbles - someone went to significant trouble to make this readable and easy to understand.

    "Mr. Pennington, you cannot but understand how much it pleases me to have you here," Hasley drawled. "Mr. Gayle will enjoy your keen and, shall I say, younger eye on the field and I may beg some small task of you from time to time."

    "Such as going over scouting reports?"

    "Precisely, sir." Hasley beamed at my obvious intelligence. "And, if I may, I will burden you with one more task."

    "Of course." I folded the case shut and met his gaze.

    "Learn about the league and who is around you, Mr. Pennington. There is history here - grandeur, triumph, betrayal. If you are to take your place at the table of the men who shape our beloved game, and I dare say you easily have that potential, then I want you to have a clear understanding of just what you're fighting for."
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  12. #12
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    COMMENT: Over this offseason we'll briefly go over each team, and hopefully at the beginning of the year we'll take a quick look at everyone's roster so you can get a feel for this league.

    First up is the National League, in order of most pennants won:

    For the logos, I tried (though didn't always find) for a retro look rather than what we might see today. All logos came from CephasJames' collection of 6000 or so on Photobucket.
    *******

    Interlude I - National League (1 of 2)


    CHICAGO WHALERS


    Former Names: None
    Pennants: 13 (1901/02/03/08/20/25/26/36/39/41/42/43/44)
    Liberty Cups: 7 (1901/03/20/25/39/41/42)

    Perseverance. Dignity. Strength. Behind every decision made by the National League one usually finds the calm, steady hand of the most conservative team in a league of conservative owners. Unsmiling men having more in common with those on Wall Street than their players or fans rule the boardrooms of the Whalers. Their one moment of notoriety came in 1943 when, desperate for players, they signed the first woman to a professional baseball contract.

    The Northsiders have an ongoing natural rivalry with the AL Chicago Stars, but not much of one within their own league. The closest team, Cleveland, can only now be recognized as a power while emotions between Whaler and Rustler management goes far beyond rivalry and dates back to before there was a team in Kansas City.

    KANSAS CITY RUSTLERS


    Former Names: Albany Rivermen (1901-32), Albany Pirates (1933-39)
    Pennants: 11 (1909/15/28/29/31/32/33/34/37/38/40)
    Liberty Cups: 7 (1909/15/28/29/31/32/34)

    The Albany (NY) Rivermen began play in the smallest city in the League, but emerged as one of the strongest under flamboyant showman Art McCarr (p. 1922-1939). Clever promotions and deals with local entertainment helped the Rivermen flourish well into the Depression.

    Unfortunately, the Depression pointed to the need to move teams to bigger cities with more potential for revenue. Starting as early as 1928 Whalers management and the National League pushed for a move to a more 'lucrative' city. McCarr fought back simply by winning pennant after pennant, then snubbed the NL entirely by changing the team name. "The fans are usually the court of last resort," he told reporters in 1934. "As long as they want us in Albany, we'll be here."

    The cold war over Albany's fate lasted until 1939. With more knowledgeable fans casting their worried eyes towards tensions in Europe, detractors pointed to the National League's generous revenue sharing plan, Albany's relative weakness as a market, and attributed the Pirates' success to communist behaviors. When the vote to force McCarr to sell came about, there was no furious outcry and McCarr went into retirement.

    Kansas City attempted to pick up on Albany's reputation with the Rustlers team name, but the tone in KC is much different. One gets the impression they don't take their game seriously, and for the last thirteen years Kansas City hasn't played like it either.

    BROOKLYN BOMBERS


    Former names: Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1901-18)
    Pennants: 11 (1911/12/17/18/22/45/46/49/50/51/52)
    Liberty Cups: 5 (1917/18/45/51/52)

    Despite their fourth place finish last year, the Bombers are considered one of the strongest, most adaptable organizations in the NL having won six pennants in nine years. As a whole they like to take risks, such as a making a concerted effort in the mid-1940s to move operations to Los Angeles. "The Pacific Coast is ready for baseball," said owner Arthur Grand, (p. 1934- ) "and baseball needs to thank the men and women there who persevered despite the omnipresent threat of the Japanese Fleet."

    Finding someone to go with them to the west coast was a problem, however, and many fingers pointed at the New Orleans Blues. Indeed, motions to force Jeffrey Himes to sell the Blues to a San Francisco conglomerate where in place when they lost city funding for a new stadium.

    Fan reaction to these plans runs the gamut from apathic to hostile. Most people agree such a deal will never happen - at least while they keep winning pennants.

    BUFFALO BISONS


    Former names: Chicago Terriers (1901-20)
    Pennants: 10 (1904/13/14/16/19/21/27/35/47/48)
    Liberty Cups: 8 (1904/13/16/19/21/35/47/48)

    After being 'encouraged' to leave Chicago by National League ownership, the Bisons moved to Buffalo and have become a solid, steady presence in National League politics. They were part of the coalition that helped push the Pirates out of Albany, as this helped improve their fan base and currently are marketing themselves aggressively in the Erie, Pennsylvania area at the expense of Cleveland.

    They've also argued against any team movement towards the Pacific Coast. Now that the league is financially stable, Bisons management believes it makes more sense to cautiously expand in that direction rather than moving teams out of New York or elsewhere.
    Retired Dynasties I'm Proud of
    To Rule in Kansas City Part I and Part II (Kansas City Royals 1969-73, Hall of Fame)
    Cardinal Sins (St. Louis Cardinals 1976-78) and it's sequel:
    Diverting Destiny (Montreal Expos 1994)
    Script for my Requiem (New Orleans Blues (fictional) 1954)

  13. #13
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Great start, nice to see you back!

  14. #14
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    Great to see you writing again Cat
    Quote Originally Posted by President View Post
    For some reason I thought rockies was a big black guy.

    I was wrong.
    Back at this dynasty thing again: Resurrecting The Rockies: 2001 Onward

  15. #15
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    Re: Script for my Requiem

    I'm jealous of your writing. It makes me want to step up my writing skills in my dynasty, lol
    The Bay Area Bombers: Cross Town Rivals
    Click Here

    The Sacramento Spartan Series (Retired)
    Winner of the August 2009 New DOTM
    Part 1
    Part 2

    The Giants Family Dynasty (Retired)
    Click Here

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